Expressive Stitching

Textile Stories
Sometimes magical moments happen; a sun’s ray shining on only a single tree on an otherwise gray day, a gust of wind causing leaves to cascade from the trees and dance across the landscape in a matter of seconds, or raindrops striking a surface creating an original melody. These fleeting episodes stay brewing in my mind for a long time until, suddenly, I feel a need to record them. The urge to document them is partly to have a more permanent remembrance of the event and partly just to honor it. One of the things that triggers the memory and compels me to move forward with it is discovering another image that brings the happening back to me.
 
For example, watching dead leaves fall from a tree reminds me of how transient life is. We all have our moment in the sun and then have to let it go to give way for someone else to blossom. It’s all part of the natural cycle of being. I wanted to express this idea but needed a good symbol for time. When I thought about it one day, I noticed a round piece of mother of pearl hanging from my window in the shower. As I looked at it, I saw the likeness of a crescent moon on it and I knew I had found my symbol in this shell fragment. I took a photo of it and played with it in Photoshop until I had an image that could represent the moon, the sun, or a planet. I created a thermofax of it in several sizes and screened it onto my artwork to represent the passage of time. 
 
Once, when I was weeding, I pulled up a plant and spent some time admiring the intricate branching of its roots. Again, I took a photo of it and manipulated it with various software programs and used its image to show how we can use the many influences we have in our lives to build foundations; for our personality, for strategies to use to deal with life, even for forming opinions.
 
It’s important to me for all the elements on my artwork to be symbolic of something. Even the type of stitching I do relates to the idea I’m trying to express. On my latest series, I did mostly a running stitch here and there, but I did it in uneven patterns, leaving spaces between the lines of stitch to represent decay and renewal. However, it’s not important to me for the viewer to see the same symbol in the images for which I purpose them. When I design an artwork, I set it up to tell a story to me. But that is my story. Each viewer has a different background and a different history and my hope is that they will look deeply at all the parts, find their own meaning, and see some part of their own story in the artwork.
 
For more information, please visit www.reginabdunn.com.
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